All yoga asanas have potential health benefits. There are contra-indications of course. So you need a teacher to guide you. But what I mean is that you can experience yoga even without twisting your body in all forms and shapes. Sometimes the “simplest looking” asanas have the biggest effect!
It is also important to stress that postures (asanas) are only one of the tools offered by yoga. Others include breathing (pranayama), hand gestures (mudras), specific sounds (mantras) and meditation. People who find it difficult to sit down and stand up can still benefit from breathing exercises and mudras. Yoga can also be adapted to different levels using props and/or modification
I encourage people to see Yoga as a “toolbox”. Open it, try some tools out. Do they work? No? Then try others. Make your own selection!
Keeping a Journal
Here is another idea: why not keep a diary? Just for a little while… Take notes of the benefits – or the lack of benefits – you felt after each breathing exercise, hand gesture or pose. Maybe you will find your own key pose to manage MS fatigue or stress. So next time you suffer from it, you will know exactly what to do.
The Power of the Breath
Personally I find a lot of comfort in practising breathing exercises. Simply focusing on the breath is relaxing. And the more you relax, the more the chest expands and allows greater air flow in. It is a virtuous circle.
Becoming aware of one’s breath is not just pleasurable, it is essential for your health.
When one is affected by MS – or any other disease- breathing tends to become shallow. Pain, fatigue and stress make it harder to hold a nice straight posture. It is easy to see how the nice virtuous circle becomes a vicious one: shallow breath, bad posture, shallow breath!
So no matter how bad your symptoms are, try to mind your breathing. I know it is easier said than done but try it. Next time you feel bad, focus on your exhalation and let the inhalation happen naturally. Only focus on the exhale. Keep doing it for a few minutes and you will feel a little bit better!
This blog entry is based on an article first published on EkhartYoga.com: Read the original article